August 2007
Napa Valley
Personal Computer
Users Group
http://www.
nvpcug.org
P.O. Box 2866
Napa, California 94558
COMPUTER
NEWS
Volume 24, No. 8
August 2007
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
2
2
2
3
4
5
6
6
7
8
9
11
11
12
13
14
14
15
NVPCUG SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS
NVPCUG CALENDAR
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
OFFICERS LIST
SOFTWARE REVIEW: MS PUBLISHER
A ROUTER HELPS PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER
2007 APCUG DIGITAL PHOTO CONTEST
WHY DOGS SHOULDN’T USE COMPUTERS
HOW I FIND MY “DELETED” EMAILS
DUMB COMPUTER MISTAKES
FREE WIDGETS FOR WINDOWS AND MAC
NVPCUG MENTOR PROGRAM
SECURE YOUR FLASH DRIVE CAP
DIGITAL RECORDS
USED COMPUTER SALE COMING
POTLUCK PICNIC INFORMATION
COMPUTING TIPS AND TRICKS
EXPLORING WINDOWS EXPLORER
The Napa Valley Personal Computer
Users Group has served novice and
experienced computer users since
1983. Through its monthly meetings,
newsletters, online forum, special
interest groups, mentor program and
community involvement, it has helped
educate people of all ages. The
NVPCUG provides opportunities for
p e o p l e t o f i n d f r i e n d s w h o s h a re
common interests and experiences.
T h ro u g h i t s C o m p u t e r s - t o - S c h o o l s
program, members refurbish used computer equipment for donation to local
schools. Since January 2003 the
NVPCUG has donated 666 computers
and 139 printers. Additional equipment has been given to charitable nonprofit organizations and to disadvantaged individuals.
At Aug. 15 Meeting,
Verizon Returns for an Encore!
The Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
will meet Wednesday, Aug. 15, 7:00-9:00 P.M.,
at the Napa Senior Activity Center,
1500 Jefferson Street, Napa, California
The meeting begins with Random Access , an open-floor questionand-answer period during which attendees can ask questions about
computers and computer-related problems and receive helpful
information from other meeting attendees. Questions may be submit
before the meeting by e-mailing them to Random Access moderator
Jerry Brown at [email protected]
Do you collect coins, DVD movies, wines, stamps, dolls, plates,
music, books, military medals, fabric, antiques or something else
unique? During the Computer Tutor session which will follow, Jeff
Solomon will be demonstrating various software programs for keeping
track of and organizing your collections.
No longer is the cell phone just a cell phone. Many people use it to
access the surfing the Web, giving a Powerpoint demonstration and
even storing important searchable documents in addition to using it as
large phone book. (We’ve probably
all seen the commercials on TV).
Personally, I have over 750 contacts
in mine and I not only keep phone
numbers, but all the information,
such as, multiple address
information, e-mails, and notes
about contacts and I can even
synchronize it with Microsoft Outlook on my desktop computer. Our
main presentation will be given by Daryl Michael, a manager from the
Jefferson Street Verizon in Napa. He will be joined by Maria Salinas,
a ssenior sales associate. Daryl presented to the NVPCUG in March
and is returning to cover additional material regarding cell phone and
wireless communication. So bring your questions for Daryl and Maria
and find out more about cell phones and their usage.
Could you use some practical information that would help you
make better use of your computer? Come to this meeting! Guests
are always welcome. Admission is always free.
Intersted in becoming a member?
See page 14 for application information.
NVPCUG Computer News, August 2007
President’s Message
NVPCUG
Special
Interest
Groups
By Ron Dack, president, [email protected], http:/
/www.nvpcug.org/
In SIG meetings you can learn about
a subject in greater detail than is
feasible at NVPCUG general
meetings. SIG meetings are open to
everyone. M e e t i n g t i m e s a n d
locations occasionally change, so
for current meeting information, see
our Web site, www.nvpcug.org, or
contact the SIG leaders.
Investors SIG
Meets: Monthly, second Monday
5:30 to 7:30 p.m
Jerry Brown’s home,
23 Skipping Rock Way, Napa
Leader: Jerry Brown
(707) 254-9607
[email protected]
Digital Photography SIG
Meets: Monthly, second Wednesday
7:00 to 8:30 p.m
Piner’s Nursing Home,
Conference Room
1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
Leader: Susy Ball
(707) 337-3998
[email protected]
Macintosh SIG
Meets: Monthly, second Thursday
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Napa Senior Activity Center
1500 Jefferson St., Napa
Leader: Jim Gillespie
(707) 252-1665
[email protected]
Time is just racing by, August is already upon us and the NVPCUG
Annual Members Picnic is going to be here in just a few days. The
Annual Members Picnic is scheduled for Saturday August 18th from 1
to 6PM. Location is the Peterson’s Christmas Tree Farm 1120 Darms
Lane, Napa. Remember if you are a member and you haven’t signed up
for the picnic yet, you better hurry up and do so. Dianne Prior has once
again agreed to coordinate this event so if you are going, you need to let
her know who, how many, and what you are bringing for the potluck
cache. We’ll bring the meat, chicken, and soft drinks. You can reach
Dianne at [email protected] If you aren’t planning to go, you
should be. The picnic is a lot of fun and the food is great.
We have finally received our letter from the IRS confirming us as a
501(c)(3) Public Charity. Now all we have to do maintain that status and
continue the good work being done by this group.
On Tuesday July 24, 2007 Orion E. Hill along with Marcia Waddell
and Susy Ball presented Dey L.P. with a plaque thanking them for their
generous contributions to the Computers to Schools program.
Do you have a friend who lives in the area that is always asking you
computer related questions? If you do, then encourage them to join the
NVPCUG. Hey, if you have a friend who doesn’t ask you those questions
we want them as members too. There are several educational projects
that would be advantageous to the community but each would require
volunteers. The more people we have as members the easier it is to get
volunteers and the less time and energy each volunteer has to commit to.
One of the possible projects is a basic computer lab for those that need
to start at the beginning like some seniors who have access to a computer
but no idea how to work with one. I will talk more on these ideas in future
columns.
You guys asked for more and we are delivering. By popular demand
Daryl Michael of Verizonwireless will be our August 15th presenter.
Daryl will be showing us the latest in wireless communications and
answering the rest of those questions he didn’t get to the last time he was
there. I hope to see you at the meeting and until then,
Take care,
NVPCUG General Meetings
Held the third Wednesday of each month, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Napa Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson Street, Napa
Ron
NVPCUG Calendar
Wednesdays
Aug 15
Sept 5
Sept 10
Sept 12
Sept 13
Sept 19
9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
5:30-7:30 p.m.
7:00-8:30 p.m.
6:30-8:30 p.m.
7:00-9:00 p.m.
Computers-to-Schools work parties. To volunteer, contact Orion Hill, (707) 252-0637
NVPCUG General Meeting, Napa Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson Street, Napa
Board of Directors meeting, Piner’s Nursing Home, 1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
Investors SIG meeting, Jerry Brown’s home, 23 Skipping Rock Way, Napa
Digital Photography SIG meeting, Piner’s Nursing Home, 1800 Pueblo Ave., Napa
Macintosh SIG meeting, Napa Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson St., Napa
NVPCUG General Meeting, Napa Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson Street, Napa
NVPCUG Computer News, August 2007, Page 2
Napa Valley Personal
Computer Users Group
Officers for 2007
Board of Directors
President
Ron Dack
[email protected]
Vice President Jerry Brown
254-9607
[email protected]
Secretary
Marcia Waddell 252-2060
[email protected]
Treasurer
Roy Wagner
253-2721
[email protected]
Other Directors: Susy Ball, Jim Gillespie, Bernhard Krevet, Ken Manfree,
Dick Peterson, Dianne Prior, Bob Simmerman, Kathy Slavens, Jeff Solomon,
Dean Unruh
Appointed Officers
Computer Recycling Coordinator
Ken Manfree
224-3722
Computer Tutor Coordinator
Jeff Solomon
Computers-to-Schools Program Coordinator
Orion E. Hill
252-0637
Facility Arrangements Coordinator
Dianne Prior
252-1506
Greeter Coordinator
Bob Simmerman 259-6113
Librarian
Dean Unruh
226-9164
Membership Director
Dianne Prior
252-1506
Mentor Program Coordinator
Dick Peterson
259-1712
Newsletter Circulator
Jim Hearn
224-2540
Newsletter Editor
Susy Ball
337-3998
Product Review CoCoordinator
Susy Ball
337-3998
Product Review CoCoordinator
Marcia Waddell 252-2060
Programs Director
Susy Ball
337-3998
Publicity Director
Ron Dack
Random Access Moderator
Jerry Brown
254-9607
Special Projects Director
Jeff Solomon
Webmaster
Ron Dack
• All telephone numbers are in Area Code 707.
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
NVPCUG Computer News, August 2007, Page 3
NVPCUG
Computer News
Computer News (ISS
0897-5744) is
published monthly by
the Napa Valley
Personal Computer
Users Group, Inc.
(NVPCUG), P.O. Box
2866, Napa, CA
94558-0286.
Subscriptions: $30 for
one year (12 issues).
Editor: Susy Ball,
[email protected]
The material in
Computer News is
intended for
noncommercial
purposes and may not
be reproduced without
prior written permission,
except that permission
for reproducing articles,
with authors properly
credited, is granted to
other computer user
groups for their internal,
nonprofit use only. The
information in this
newsletter is believed
to be correct. However,
the NVPCUG can
assume neither
responsibility for errors
or omissions nor liability
for any damages
resulting from the use
or misuse of any
information.
The NVPCUG is an IRC
501(c)(3) tax-exempt
nonprofit educational
organization (EIN 680069663) and is a
member of the
Association of Personal
Computer User Groups
(APCUG), an
international
organization. Donations
to the NVPCUG are
tax-deductible as
charitable contributions
to the extent allowed by
law. Copyright © 2007
by NVPCUG.
Software Review
Microsoft Office 2007 Publisher
By Don Robertson, member of NVPCUG, Napa CA, [email protected],
www.nvpcug.org
Given the opportunity to evaluate the latest Microsoft once. First I realized that the merged document would
Office 2007 Publisher, I am using the Pub 2007 to create the consist of four times the number of pages as the names on
August edition of the Napa Valley Dixieland Jazz Society our list. In our case it is about 130 (x 4 =520 pages)
8.5 x 14 with pictures and color graphics. Deciding this
Newsletter of which I am editor.
was too much of a strain on the memory, I
Since I inherited the NVDJS
created a copy of the newsletter, but only the
newsletter, about a year ago, I have
front page where the addresses go. So far so
used the prior editions as a template and
good BUT, when I clicked on the place in
just changed the articles, thus I have not
the
mail merge wizard to create the 130
had any experience in starting a
page
document, MS Publisher, hesitated
publication from scratch. Our
then CRASHED (You know, the “I’m sorry
publication consists of two 8.5 by 14
but this program must close” message.).
sheets, printed on both sides and folded
This happened every time I tried to run mail
to provide an 8.5 by 7 booklet with 8
merge.
I even created a smaller (25 names)
pages. We have sponsors, who have
list
(an
MS EXCEL file), and rebooted my
provided advertising artwork in the form
computer.
Then I noticed another option,
of JPEG images about the size of business
instead
of
creating a new publication, I
cards. These are moved about on the 8
could
select
“append to existing
pages so no one gets the same location
publication” So I created a copy of my
every month. Otherwise it is a matter of
original front page and gave it a slightly
changing dates and bands for several
different name, and directed the merge to append to this
other local jazz societies and commercial
venues, along with regular columns by our officers and document. This time it worked gave me a 131 page
other contributors. The previous editor used Adobe document all front pages but with a different recipient’s
Pagemaker and converted it to MS Publisher so I wouldn’t name and address. I still don’t know why the “merge to
have to buy Pagemaker. I have been using Publisher from new publication” option caused a crash, but I have a
MS Office 2000 which came bundled with one of my workaround.
In addition, I thought the 2007 version was a little too
computers.
rigid.
I could find no options or customization process to
Of the MS Publisher features, I have only used the text
get
rid
of the “getting started with Publisher 2007” opening
flow, which allows lengthy text articles to be divided among
test boxes placed within 16 pre-existing columns on the 8 screen. Also, there were annoying “nanny” warnings
about what file I was going to open, and the mail merge
pages.
When I loaded Publisher 2007, I noticed a much more command always launched a wizard, instead of running
colorful interface. The opening screen gives a variety of mail merge from the toolbar as is done in WORD (2000).
I explored some of the other applications in the “Getting
choices of publication types, and on the right are small
representations of recent publications. Thus I only need to Started” opening wizard, such as calendars, signs and
double click on my prior month’s newsletter and update the business cards. All have extensive libraries of templates
and artwork. The use of these is not terribly intuitive, but
content after juggling the sponsors’ advertisements.
The biggest improvement for me was that there is now a there is an extensive help document. Much of Publisher
mail merge tool within Publisher 2007, with an easy interface 2007 is directed to easily producing documents for business
to place the names and addresses wherever I wished in the applications. Since much of my document was created by
publication. Previously we had to use a MS WORD document someone else in a different program, I’m not sure how easy
and run the first page through a second printing operation it would be to create it from scratch. It is a series of text
after creating a mail merged document from our EXCEL boxes interspersed with JPEG graphics. I started with a
membership list. I found there WAS a mail merge menu item blank legal sized page in landscape, then added a big text
block. There was a toolbar icon that opened a column
in Publisher 2000, but it wasn’t available in my edition.
dialog where I was able to select 4 columns across the 14
However, after using the mail merge wizard and getting
inch dimension which results in 2 columns per page when
the names and addresses where I wanted, I attempted to
folded. This is as far as I went in simulating reproducing
create a merged document to send through the printer
my publication from scratch.
„
NVPCUG Computer News, August 2007, Page 4
A Router can Help Protect Your
Computer
By Sandy Berger, CompuKISS, www.compukiss.com,
[email protected]
incoming
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for the
traffic to the proper
publication by APCUG member groups.
A few years ago, you had probably not heard the term computer within
“router”, unless you used one in your wood-working class your home network. Since the router is watching all the
in high school. Today, you hear much more about the word traffic, it knows what information you have requested and
“router” when it is used in conjunction with computers and only allows incoming traffic that is expected. So if your
the Internet. In the computer world, a router is an important computer has requested a Web page, it will allow that Web
piece of equipment and one that is making its way into page to come into your computer. Other traffic that has not
everyday terminology. So I would like to tell you a little been requested is tossed aside and not allowed to come in.
This ignoring of unexpected incoming traffic has an
about what a router is and what it can do for you.
A router is a hardware device that connects networks of interesting side effect. It actually protects your computer
two or more computers and forwards data across a network from many malicious attacks from the outside. So the
of computers. Devices like network printers can also be router, since it protects all the computers on your network,
hooked up to a router. Routers that you might see in home is considered a hardware firewall.
In fact, a router plus the firewall that is built-into
and small business use are generally small rectangular or
square devices about 63 to 83 in size. This type of router Windows will, in my opinion, give the average user all the
will have ports on the back where you can hook in protection that they need. That is, provided that they
computers, broadband modems, and other devices. A follow safe computing procedures, like not opening
router has lights that indicate its status and the status of the unexpected email attachments and running a good antivirus
connected devices. Wireless modems often have small program.
antennas. Routers can usually sit on a desktop or the floor,
For heavy duty computer users who want to make sure
but they can also be hung on a wall.
that their computers are completely protected, third party
You can think of a router as a kind of traffic cop that software firewalls, like those offered by Symantec, McAfee,
stands on the corner and routes the traffic to their final and Zone Alarm, do offer the added safeguard of watching
destination. Just as a traffic cop knows which direction a the traffic flowing in and out of each software program on
car is coming from and which way it wants to go, a router your computer. However, these firewalls can slow down
knows what data comes from each of the computers, what your computer. They often ask the computer user to permit
data each computer has requested, and what data to return or deny permission for programs that request Internet
to each computer. Routers are the workhorses of the access. If you are just an average Joe, it can often be very
Internet. They make sure that your email gets to your difficult to determine if you should grant or deny that
intended recipient rather than one of the millions of other permission since the names of the files are often nebulous.
computers. Within a smaller network router make sure that I can’t tell you how many times I have been called to repair
the data or the webpage that you request is returned to your someone’s Internet connectivity only to find out that they
computer and not the computer of your co-worker or other had inadvertently told the firewall to deny Internet access to
a program that can’t function without it.
family member.
So having a router not only lets you share an Internet
While routers have been used for years in the Internet
and by businesses, the proliferation of home networks has connection, it also protects your computer without slowing
brought the router into the home and into the realm of the it down. As a matter of fact, even if you only have one
average computer user. In a home, a router typically is computer, you can still use a router between your broadband
used to share an Internet connection. It connects a home Internet connection and your computer to help protect
network of two or more computers with the network of your perimeter. With the price of small routers falling to
your Internet Service Provider (ISP), giving each of your under $50, a router can be a wise investment for today’s
computers Internet connectivity. Your ISP issues you one computer user, even if they have to pay someone to come
address on the Internet, called an IP or Internet Protocol in and set it up for them.
„
address. If you have multiple machines at home, a router This article has been provided to APCUG by the author
lets you share that single IP address.
solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All
The router watches the traffic going out and other uses require the permission of the author (see
waits for the response to the outgoing traffic. It then routes e-mail address above).
NVPCUG Computer News, August 2007, Page 5
2007 APCUG Digital Photo Contest
Following up on the success of our 2006 Digital Photo
Contest, the APCUG is pleased to announce our 2007
Digital Photo Contest. Again, it will showcase the talents
of our member group photographers! Somewhere inside
all of us is a creative genius just waiting for the chance to
grab the spotlight … and we want to give you that chance.
There will be multiple chances to win … including …
professional judging and our own “People’s Choice Award”
chosen from our Convention attendees! So, grab those
cameras and start shooting!
Contest Rules
1. The photo contest event will begin on
September 1, 2007.
2. Final submittal of entries will be October 15, 2007.
Entries not postmarked on or before that date will
be disqualified.
3. The contest is open to all individuals who are
members of APCUG affiliated User Groups. Photos
may be submitted in each of four categories:
a. People
b. Animals
c. Landscape
d. Still life
Note: Landscape can be mountains, sky, sea,
flowers, desert, trees, etc. Still life is any object not
shown in motion; architecture, automobiles, boats,
sculpture, historical objects, etc. Let your
imagination look through your viewfinder!
4. Entries must be taken with a digital camera
5. All photos are to be printed no larger than 8 ½ x 11.
Panoramic prints are accepted but should not
exceed the same area as 8 ½ x 11 (93 square
inches). Prints must be made on glossy photo paper.
6. Prints are to be without borders. Entries received
with borders will be trimmed before presentation
for judging.
7. Entries can be color or black and white.
8. The entry label is to be pasted or taped to the back
of each print.
9. Entrants will submit one photograph (with 4 prints
of it) per category and a CD or floppy disk with the
image in .jpg format. Entrants can enter all 4
categories if desired.
10. Entrants will be judged for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place
under the following criteria but will not be applied
to the People’s Choice Award:
a. Composition (5 points)
b.Technical Skill (5 points)
c. Visual Impact (10 points)
11. All Entries must be postmarked no later than
October 15, 2007 and mailed to:
APCUG Photo Contest
C/O Roger Tesch
1918 Greenway Cross, Apt 3
Fitchburg, WI 53713-3037
APCUG will not be responsible for any lost photos
in the mail. Entrants should retain copies of the
photos. Entries that are not postmarked by October
15, 2007 are disqualified.
12. There will be 3 judges reviewing all entries. Each
category will have 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards. The
People’s Choice award will be selected from all entries,
and that selection will be chosen by the attendees at
the APCUG Convention in January, 2008. First Place
winners and the Peoples Choice winner will be
published in the APCUG Reports. Awards and
certificates will be presented at the APCUG Convention
in January, 2008.
See http://reports.apcug.org/2007q3/
12.htm for Entry Form for the APCUG 2007 Photo
Contest and go to http://www.apcug.net for further
information.
„
Why Dogs
Shouldn’t Use
Computers
1. He’s distracted by cats chasing his mouse.
2. SIT and STAY were hard enough; CUT and
PASTE are out of the question.
3. Saliva-coated floppy disks refuse to work.
4. Three words: carpal paw syndrome.
5. Involuntary tail wagging is a dead give-away that
he’s browsing www.purina.com instead of
working.
6. The fire hydrant icon is simply too frustrating.
7. He can’t help attacking the screen when he hears,
“You’ve Got Mail.”
8. It’s too messy to “mark” every Web site he visits.
9. The FETCH command isn’t available on all
platforms.
10. He can’t stick his head out of Windows XP.
NVPCUG Computer News, August 2007, Page 6
How I Find My “Deleted” Emails
By Tom Thiel, President, Lake-Sumter Computer Society, www.lscs.us, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for 5. With Windows Explorer I find the folder “Toms
emails” on that external backup copy.
publication by APCUG member groups.
Old Emails are one of my most frequent 6. Then I Copy that folder and Paste it into my current
My Documents folder.
retrievals from my backed-up files.
My current rate of email accumulation is 7. I now see two email folders in My Documents; “Toms
about 20-30 a day. I’ve forced myself to
emails” which just was Pasted from the backup copy
maintain my accumulated emails in my
and the folder “Toms emails Today” which had been
Inbox and Sent Emails folders to a
renamed earlier.
maximum of not more than 1,000 each. So 8. Next I open IE again.
periodically I just arbitrarily “lope off” the 9. It asks me “Do you want to work online?”
oldest one-half to one month or so of emails. 10. Be sure to say NO!
I try to manage some of these by placing them 11. I then try to locate the desired email; sometimes I use
i n t o other folders but that isn’t very effective for me.
IE’s Find capability to do this. Hopefully, I have
What this procedure means is that frequently I find myself
guessed correctly and I find the desired email the first
wishing I still had that old “deleted” email. (The latest one
guess.
was the Acoustica email sending us Spin it Again software.) 12. I open it and then copy it to my Desktop by choosing
How do I retrieve that email after I’ve “deleted” it from
File and then Save As and Save To Desktop.
my Inbox or Sent Items? Here is how I do it with Internet 13. Now I close IE and with Windows Explorer find the
Explorer 6.
folder “Toms emails”, the one I just loaded from the
Sometime ago I found out where IE stores my emails.
backup, and from which I retrieved the desired email,
What I did then was to move the place where my emails are
and I delete it.
stored by default to a folder named “Toms emails” in my 14. Next I rename “Toms emails Today” back to “Toms
“My Documents” folder. (How to do this is briefly outlined
emails”
in the addendum at the end of this article.)
15. Then I open IE and say Yes I want to Work Online.
My basic backup procedure is to frequently, at least once 16. I find the email that I had copied to my desktop and
a week but usually more frequently, and usually daily with
double-click on it to open in IE. I can then save it back
very active folders, copy the contents of my My Documents
into my current emails and do whatever I wanted to do
folder to an external USB connected 300 GB Maxtor drive
with it.
and to other similar portable USB drives (a 100 GB
And
that what I do to find that old “deleted” email! Of course
SimpleTec, and a 40 GB Pocketec hard drive) that are
it
only
works for so long as you maintain those backup copies
stored away from my computer.
– in my case about six months.
When I do this of course I am backing up the current
Addendum: How you may change
contents of all my emails at the moment the My Documents
the default location where your e-mails
backup is performed. (Actually, any true backup procedure
are stored in Outlook Express.
will work.)
In OE, first select the Tools
So, when I want one of those old emails that had been menu, and then Options tab.
arbitrarily “loped” off the tail end, I do the following:
On the pop-up screen, click
1. Open Outlook Express and set it to Work Offline so the Maintenance tab, then
that new emails are not loaded in with old ones (only click the Store Folder button.
needed if you are continuously on-line). You may set
Outlook Express will show
IE to Work Offline as follows: With IE open select you where it is currently
File, and then check Work Offline. No new emails can keeping your e-mail files.
come in under this mode.
You may then select Change and a Browse window will
2. Now close OE.
appear where you may chose to indicate the new place you
3. With Windows Explorer I find the folder “Toms wish to store your emails.
„
emails” in My Documents and rename it to “Toms This article has been provided to APCUG by the author
emails Today”
solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All
4. Then I try to guess what backup might have the other uses require the permission of the author (see
particular email I’m looking for from among the e-mail address above).
various backups I have on the external USB drives.
NVPCUG Computer News, August 2007, Page 7
Dumb Things to Avoid While Using
Your Computer
By Vinny La Bash, a member and regular columnist of the Sarasota Personal Computer Users
Group, Inc., Florida, [email protected], www.spcug.org
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for
publication by APCUG member groups.
To paraphrase a recent TV commercial, we all do dumb
things, but doing them with your computer doesn’t have to
be one of them.
Most of us know that our computers work better when
they are plugged into an active electrical outlet, but ask
any service technician how many times he or she has
encountered that situation, and you may be surprised at the
answer. Every one of us, no matter how experienced, has
done at least one dumb thing with our computers. Maybe
you pressed a wrong combination of keys and changed a
setting you didn’t mean to disturb. Maybe nothing much
happened or you ended up crashing your system.
Whatever does or doesn’t happen, paying attention to
what you’re doing combined with a dash of forethought
can prevent most dumb mistakes.
David Letterman has his top ten lists. I offer my top six.
My list will do little to entertain you, but it will help you
to be smarter about using your system.
Dumb Computer Mistake # 6:
Failing to install or keep your antivirus and anti-spyware programs
up-to-date.
Some people think that keeping these programs current is
too much trouble. Others quibble because sometimes they
have to disable their anti-virus program to install another
application.
Don’t be misguided. Viruses and spyware can gum up
your system to a point where your machine can be rendered
useless and inoperable. You could be a victim of fraud or
risk turning your machine into a “zombie” where a third
party can use your computer for criminal activities. Innocent
people have been arrested and charged with downloading
child pornography. They had no idea that their machines
were compromised for illegal purposes, yet they found
themselves in deep trouble.
Dumb Computer Mistake # 5:
Indiscriminately installing freeware
and shareware you find on the
internet.
If you are guilty of this it’s only a matter of time before you
get infected with a piece of sloppily written software that
will cause your system to behave erratically or crash. If
you follow dumb with dumber by installing pirated
software, don’t ask me for help.
Dumb Computer Mistake # 4:
Share your files and peripherals with
the immediate world.
Turn off file and printer sharing. Unless you do this you
could open your computer to access by using a public
wireless hotspot with your laptop. Even if you don’t use a
laptop be aware that Windows, by default, has
administrative sharing for the root of each drive. You can
turn this feature off in the Systems Administration portion
of the Control Panel.
Dumb Computer Mistake # 3:
Browse through the internet without
a firewall.
People new to computers are most likely to make this
mistake. They tend to be entirely unaware that they need
a firewall because nobody told them what a firewall is or
why they need one. This lack of knowledge exposes them
to every virus, worm or malicious hacker in the computer
universe. Fortunately, this exposure can be easily corrected.
Many modems and routers have built-in firewall protection.
Personal firewalls can easily be downloaded from the
web. Go to www.avast.com and download one of the best
all around network security programs in existence. The
best part is that this excellent program is free to the general
public.
Dumb Computer Mistake # 2:
Picking weak passwords.
Every hacker in the known universe understands that
many people use their children’s or grandchildren’s name
as a password. Cracking that kind of security is as easy as
breathing. Don’t use a family member’s birthday or social
security number as a password either. It’s the kind of
information that is all too easy to obtain. Don’t create
passwords from a dictionary. Hackers have programs
which automatically compare passwords against dictionary
entries.
Passwords should be at least 8 characters long, and be a
combination of upper and lower case characters and
numbers. The common objection is that they are
hard to remember. That also makes them hard to
NVPCUG Computer News, August 2007, Page 8
Î
crack. Create a phrase that you can easily remember and
use the first letter of each word along with logical numbers.
For example, “Our vacation in Jamaica begins on the fifth
day of August” becomes OviJbot5do8. A password like
that is impossible to guess and is not found in any dictionary.
Dumb Computer Mistake # 1: Never
backing up your data or system files.
data files to an external disk constitutes backing up. Make
copies of your essential data to three CDs or three sets of
CDs. Keep one set at home, but in a different room than
where the computer is housed. Keep another set at the
office if you work for a living. If you’re retired ask a friend
to keep a set for you. Do the same for your friend. The third
set of disks should be kept in a secure place like a safe
deposit box.
Data is the only irreplaceable thing on your computer.
You can replace hardware, operating systems and
application software, but you can’t go to a store and buy
a replacement copy of your data.
The dumbest thing I can remember doing is backing up
my data files to a RAM disk.
„
Even if you never do any other dumb thing while computing,
failure to back up your data can negate everything else if
you lose important information. There are too many things
that can go wrong for you not to be backing up your data.
Hard disk crashes, fire or water damage, tornados,
hurricanes, magnetic interference, and theft are just a few
of the many things that can damage or destroy data.
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author
Backing up data can be time consuming and inconvenient, solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All
but losing your data could be catastrophic. There are many other uses require the permission of the author (see
strategies you can use to protect your data, but any strategy e-mail address above).
is better than none. Don’t think that merely copying your
Improve Computing Pleasure with
Free Widgets for Windows and Mac
By Ira Wilsker, APCUG Director; Columnist, The Examiner, Beaumont TX; radio and TV show
host, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for
Yahoo!’s widgets can be found at widgets.
publication by APCUG member groups.
yahoo.com. Upon opening that page, the user is
greeted with a button to download the widget engine,
which includes about a dozen popular widgets,
WEBSITES
including a picture frame (displays digital photos on
http://widgets.yahoo.com
desktop), weather display, notepad, daily planner,
http://widgets.yahoo.com/gallery
maps, stock ticker, and others. The opacity of widgets
Many of us are extremely busy, and often lack the time can be controlled to make them nearly opaque, hiding
to search the internet for items of frequent interest. the desktop behind the widget, to almost totally
Many of us have dull and boring desktops displayed on transparent, fully displaying the desktop. Widgets can
our monitors, often using the default images of our be dragged and dropped anywhere on the screen. I
computer or software maker. Fortunately for us, there is have a lot of icons on my desktop, and my widgets
a free service offered by Yahoo!, called “widgets”.
cover several of the icons, but this is not a problem as
Widgets, also known as “gadgets” by some web I drag the widget out of the way whenever I want to
services, are small programs that display a wide variety access those previously covered icons.
of information on the otherwise wasted space on our
The widget engine works on Windows XP with service
desktops. This information is automatically updated on pack 2, Windows 2000 with service pack 4, Vista, or Macs
a frequent basis, providing the user with current data with OS X 10.3.9 or higher. An internet connection
without loading another program or browsing to a is necessary in order to update the widgets, and
website, as widgets are displayed on the desktop on a 512 megabytes (minimum) ram is recommended for
full time basis.
improved performance.
Widgets is the name for the products distributed by
Among the default widgets included with the widget
Yahoo!, and gadgets are distributed by other web service engine, I personally have the stock ticker and weather
providers. While similar in appearance and function, widgets loaded and running, and also have a TV widget
widgets and gadgets are generally not interchangeable, which displays the shows for the next few hours on the
and in order to conserve system resources, users should
Widgets cont. on page 10
choose gadgets or widgets, but not both.
NVPCUG Computer News, August 2007, Page 9
Widgets cont. from page 9
channels of my choice.
The stock ticker widget is very easy to use, and is
automatically updated every few minutes. The default
listings are for popular quotes, such as the Dow Jones
Industrial Averages, NASDAQ, Yahoo!, and similar
issues. It is very simple to modify the listing to show
any desired quotes and indices, and the number of
issues displayed is only limited by the space available
on the desktop.
The weather widget is customizable for any city or
zip code, and graphically displays the weather for five
days, current conditions, temperature, and moon
phases. By moving the cursor over the weather widget
(sometimes it also requires a mouse click), a balloon
opens which displays the humidity, barometric
pressure, wind chill or heat index, wind direction and
speed, and the time of most recent update.
The widget I seem to refer to the most is the TV
widget called “TV Tracker”, which can be downloaded
from the Widget Gallery. Once downloaded and
installed, a city and zip code is selected, which displays
the on-air, cable, and satellite options and carriers
locally available. Selecting the appropriate carrier
displays a two hour grid of what is on television.
Different genres, such as sports and movies are
highlighted in different colors for easy viewing.
Clicking on a highlighted title will “fetch” the
description and details of the movie or sports event,
displaying it in a subwidget adjacent to the
primary widget. I will
be honest and say that
there are several
cable
channels
available to me that I
simply never watch,
and TV Tracker easily
allows for the display
of only selected
channels, making the
display that much
easier to follow.
The widget gallery, widgets.yahoo.com/
gallery, currently lists 4242 Windows widgets available
for download, and 3977 widgets for Mac, in a variety of
categories. As I type this, Yahoo! is featuring Motor Trend
Magazine’s “Gas Alert Savings” widget which displays a
localized list of the lowest priced gas stations in the area,
and is available for both Windows and Mac. Widgets can
be searched by name, type, or date. The widget categories
listed in the gallery are latest (4242 widgets), updates
(2158 widgets), fun & games (575 widgets), date & time
(470), news feeds (952), system utilities (354), sight and
sound (554), geek stuff (120), cam viewers (273), widget
tools (63), app (application) enhancers (109), search tools
(352), and various (miscellaneous, 416). Each category
may contain hundreds of different widgets, all of which
are available for free download.
I have downloaded several other widgets, and selectively
load them when I want, and stop them when no longer
wanted. In Windows, widgets as a group can be controlled
by clicking on the widget icon in the system tray, near the
clock. The widget icon is a black background, with two
diagonal and interlocked gears. Right clicking on the
widget icon displays a comprehensive menu of options
which allows the user to control the appearance and
function of widgets, load and unload widgets, and otherwise
control their behavior.
Some widgets that I selectively use are news feeds
which display real time news headlines from hundreds of
sources, live weather radar, streaming audio from dozens
of radio stations from all over the globe, and many others.
Although I have never used it, there is even a pregnancy
calculator widget!
Widgets can be a fun adjunct to improve the satisfaction
and use of our computers.
„
This article has been provided to APCUG by the
author solely for publication by APCUG member
groups. All other uses require the permission of the
author (see e-mail address above).
NVPCUG Computer News, August 2007, Page 10
Secure Your Flash Drive Cap
By Fran Damratowski. Refurbishing SIG Leader, Chesapeake PC Users Group, MD,
www.chesapeakepcusersgroup.org, [email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission
for publication by APCUG member groups.
Have you ever misplaced your flash drive cap? No need
to ever do that again. Secure it with a button. You will
n e e d a s h i r t button, some heavy thread such as carpet
thread, double sided self-sticking adhesive mounting
foam, double sided sticky tape, and some colorless nail
polish.
1. Run the thread diagonally through two of the
buttonholes and secure with a square knot.
2. Place the knot on the top of the button not on the flat
bottom of the button.
3. Cut the thread long enough to secure it with enough
play to remove the cap.
4. Cut a small piece of the double-sided self-sticking
adhesive mounting foam about the size of the button.
5. Remove the backing from one side of the doublesided self-sticking adhesive mounting foam and
place a small piece of the double-sided sticky tape
on the sticky side of the double-sided self-sticking
adhesive mounting foam. (The double-sided selfsticking adhesive mounting foam does not hold well
without the sticky tape. The tape alone does not hold
well either.)
6. Securely attach the flat side of the button to the sticky tape.
7. Trim the excess tape and foam using an x-acto knife.
8. Remove the backing from the other side of the
double-sided self-sticking adhesive mounting foam
and place another piece of double sided sticky tape on
the foam.
9. Securely attach the button foam and tape to the flash
drive cap.
10. Secure the other end of the thread to the flash drive or
lanyard.
11. Leave enough play to easily remove the cap, but not
get tangled.
12. Use the colorless nail polish to secure the knots so they
don’t become undone.
13. After the nail polish dries trim the thread.
OR
You could go to your local photo shop and buy a $2+
button size lens cap keeper (or cap retainer) and modify it
as needed. Most of them appear to come with elastic bands
that are placed around the lens barrel as opposed to a leash
that can be attached to another part of the camera.
„
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author solely
for publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses
require the permission of the author (see e-mail address
above).
NVPCUG Mentor Program
By Dick Peterson, [email protected], www.nvpcug.org
Most of our members may not remember that we’ve had
a membership Computer Mentor program for several
years now. From time to time, the NVPCUG newsletter
listed members who had sufficient qualifications and
experience to be able to help other members learn each of
more than twenty different software programs. In recent
months, maybe years, virtually no one has bothered to use
it, and I think I know why.
Learning to use any software is increasingly easy because
of available Jr. College and H.S. classes. Only two months
ago, I took an NVCC course in Quick Books online and it
was outstanding. The Video Professor and other sets of
learning CDs are excellent, as well as easy to use, and what
you learn is easy to understand and remember. Any of
these teaches much more than you could get out of the half
hour or so of mentoring that would be normal to ask for.
But NVPCUG members have a kicker: It has become
quite easy for users with a computer problem to simply
send out an E-Mail plea to the other members, explaining
his/her problem and asking what others would suggest to
handle the problem. Usable answers are immediate, to the
point and mostly helpful. Our “membership only” mailing
list works well for that and the beauty of it is that nobody
has dominated, mismanaged or otherwise abused the
privilege of sending e-mail to our whole list. That’s a great
positive, and “that’s what e-mail is for” comes close to
summing it up. Bravo!
„
NVPCUG Computer News, August 2007, Page 11
Going 100% Digital with Genealogy
– or Any – Records
By Tom J. Thiel, President, Lake-Sumter Computer Society, Florida,
www.lscs.us, [email protected]
And of special note, through June 30, 2007, Xerox is
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for
offering a $50 mail in rebate.
publication by APCUG member groups.
So far I am totally pleased with my DocuMate 510!
In April 2007, I offered a presentation with the same title
as above our the Lake-Sumter Computer Society’s
Scanner assembly went effortlessly with the aid of a
Genealogy Special Interest Group. For a handout see:
very well illustrated assembly schematic manual.
Installation requires that the software be installed before
http://www.lscs.us/presentations/
connecting the 510 to your computer via the USB port.
070412%20Thiel%20Going%20
The 510 came with ScanSoft PaperPort 9.0 which
100%20Percent%20Digital%20Handout.pdf
controls
the scanner, TextBridge Pro 9.0 for Optical
In my presentation — which was based on an excellent
Character
Recognition, and ArcSoft Photo Impressions
article with a similar title by Dick Eastman in his
editing
software
all on one CD-ROM. It also came with a
outstanding Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter Plus
Edition — I extensively described the Xerox DocuMate 58-page installation and scanning manual done quite
152 scanner that costs about $500 with bundled software. nicely in slick paper, and a12-month warranty.
After the software was installed, the scanner components
This, of course, was the one Mr. Eastman had obtained and
were connected to power and then I connected it to the
on which he based his fine article.
Well, for me at least and for many the roughly $500 for computer with the USB cable. When I attempted to scan a
the DocuMate 152 was a little bit on the pricey side and document, however, I received an error message. By
also it is more of a work group scanner with office entering the error code into Google I was quickly able to
determine that I had failed to adequately unlock the
document scanning as its primary design criteria.
shipping lock slider switch.
One of the alternative scanners I found in my research
After sliding the switch, the scanner worked perfectly.
for the presentation and also mentioned in my presentation
The
sheet feeder works very well and even handles quite
was the Xerox DocuMate 510, flatbed scanner with an
thin
papers although hearing those go through the feeder
Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) rated at 10 pages per
may
give one cause to worry a bit.
minute.
The ADF handles variable length paper from about 6
About a month ago I decided to obtain the DocuMate 510!
inches to up to 14-inch legal length papers — all in the
PC World has a very nice review of the Xerox 510 at the
same stack in the ADF. And the fact that the scanner’s
following web site; http://www.pcworld.com/
cover may be easily removed to copy from books is also
article/id,114941-page,1/article.html —
a plus for genealogists and for general home applications.
two paragraphs were extracted in the text below.
Mr. Eastman, and others, speaks at length on what these
“If you need to turn a stack of paper documents into
scanners and their software, collectively known as a
editable electronic text, using a scanner with optical
Document Management System, will mean — reducing
character recognition software and an automatic document
the number of filing cabinets, safer storage and more rapid
feeder attachment — like Xerox’s new $350 DocuMate
and complete retrieval.
510 — is a speedy alternative to typing.”
All of these are, of course, quite true, but you should be
“While the DocuMate 510 is a flatbed model — and
aware that to convert all of your existing file cabinet’s
therefore takes up more desk space than slimmer sheet-fed
contents to digital information is not something you will
scanners—its removable lid allows you to scan pages
be able to achieve quickly! Scanning all of your existing
from books or other bound volumes, including oversize
documents, whether your genealogy documentation or
originals. For any business or workgroup that needs an
your credit card, banking or utility records, will take an
affordable document scanner, the DocuMate 510 is a solid
appreciable amount of time and effort regardless of the
choice.” End Quote
scanner you employ.
I was able to find the 510 on the internet from a low of
At present I am scanning my bank statements, utility
$298 to a high of $359. I paid $312 from Buy.com;
bills, medical Medicare and supplemental insurance
however, I found that the local Office Depot (Mount Dora,
statements, medical reports and lab analyses, credit cards
FL) has the DocuMate 510 for $299, complete with
and the like.
bundled software.
Î
NVPCUG Computer News, August 2007, Page 12
I have not yet begun to scan my Genealogy documents,
but intend to — this will be a daunting task; not the
scanning but the organizing and assembling of the
documents that I have to get them ready for scanning.
When you convert records to a document management
system as I am doing with the 510, you need to decide what
conversion scenario you will follow: scan all the documents
that exist in your files or scan from the day you begin
scanning forward.
I have decided to convert most of my documents starting
from today forward (except of course for genealogy
records). This is simply because it is easier to do this than
to “empty the file cabinet first.”
Unlike the DocuMate 152, which is a duplex scanner
meaning that both the front and rear of a page are scanned
simultaneously with the same pass of the paper through
the scanner, the 510 is a simplex meaning that only one
side is scanned at a time.
However, the PaperPort Deluxe 9 scanning software
packaged with the scanner handles this situation very
well. Simply load the stack of papers and scan the front
side of all pages. PaperPort will then ask “scan the other
side?” and if you wish to you simply turn the stack over
and scan the reverse side. The software handles the
pagination automatically.
The 510 is very simple to use; one of the more difficult
aspects of using it is to remember to load the paper with the
face up!
The PaperPort 9.0 software, originally offered by
ScanSoft and now by Nuance, works very effectively. One
item I would like improved is the default file name, which
is “Day of week, Month, Day and Year.pdf.” Other options
are available but it appears that all use the current date in
one form or another.
So far I have not extensively used the OCR capability as
that is a slower scanning process.
Another very useful feature of the PaperPort software is
that it is a printer and may be used to print any document
directly to a pdf, including documents from the web.
Managing the scanned documents effectively can also
be challenging. I created a file folder structure similar to
my physical filing cabinet and that seems to work very
well so far.
I scan a document or set of documents and then merely
drag these and drop them in the appropriate folder. I then
rename the file to usually “YYMMDD Plus a Few
Descriptive Words” in front of the default file name.pdf. A
medical record, for example, would contain the year,
month and day of the medical service, the physician’s
name and procedure, followed by the default scan date. I
find that using YYMMDD format for my records allows
me to sort or otherwise keep a logical file and folder order
sequence by date; to use the standard MMDDYY format
will not sort logically.
If you are going to scan older records then you should
spend some time in document preparation before beginning
scanning. Ensuring that documents are in proper order,
staples removed, corners straightened, etc., will speed up
the scanning process.
And you must verify your copy before discarding the
paper document! I am discarding most of the documents
I have scanned so far.
All of my scanning to date has been black and white and
at 300 dots per inch resolution, which in most cases has
been adequate. This will result in a pdf file of perhaps
35KB per page.
If you decide to convert your paper files to 100% digital
records, then you simply must practice excellent and very
frequent backup procedures. Otherwise you will lose
everything! I make a copy on an external drive after every
session.
The choice is yours of course, but my advise is: “Go
100% Digital, and do it now!
„
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author
solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All
other uses require the permission of the author (see
e-mail address above).
MS Word - Keyboard Shortcut
Quickly move the cursor to the location
it was at when the document was last
saved by pressing SHIFT + F5.
Used Computer
Sale Coming
The Napa Valley PC Users Group
would like to have a Used
Equipment Sale in 2008 to raise
money for NVPCUG. We need
items that we could re-sell
at a Used Equipment sale. If
you have any old computer
equipment that you want to
donate such as laptops, monitors.
keyboards, mice, hard drives,
software, printers, etc..Please
contact Jeff Solomon at our
regular meeting or send an
e-mail to [email protected]
NVPCUG Computer News, August 2007, Page 13
Potluck Picnic
set for Saturday,
August 18th, 2007
By Coordinator
Dianne Prior,
[email protected],
www.nvpcug.org
Dick and Sandy
Peterson have again
graciously offered to
host our August
Members Potluck
Picnic. The location is the
redwood grove and pond at Peterson’s
Family Christmas Tree Farm, 1120
Darms Lane, Napa. The date is
Saturday, August 18th, 2007 from
1:30 PM. Signups will be available
until the General Meeting on
Wednesday August 15 th, but you
may e-mail me before then at
[email protected] I need
to know your name, the names of any
guest you are bringing, what food you
are bringing for the potluck, and if you
can help with setup or cleanup. Extra
chairs are needed also.
Napa Valley P.C. Users Group will
barbeque chicken and beefsteaks. The
group will also provide nonalcoholic
beverages and ice, paper plates, cups,
plastic ware, and napkins. Alcoholic
beverages are BYOB. There will
be games including balloon darts,
horseshoes, washer toss and floppy
(CD) throw with prizes awarded to the
winners. You’re welcome to bring cards
or board games as well. Mel Cohen
will entertain us on his midi accordion.
This is a time to visit with old friends
and make new ones. We hope to see
you all there. The potluck picnic is
always a lot of fun and the food is great
and plentiful.
„
Computing Tips and Tricks
Megapixels: Megapixels determine a photo’s size more so than its quality.
Even point-and-shoot cameras commonly have 6MP (megapixel) or 8MP
these days, which is more than enough to give you gorgeous 8- x 10-inch
prints suitable for framing. If you like large, poster-sized shots, you’ll be
better off with 10MP or better. And if you shoot exclusively for prints
measuring 5 x 7 inches or less or for viewing on-screen, anything over
4MP will be overkill.
Reprinted with permission from Smart Computing. Visit
www.SmartComputing.com/Groups to learn what Smart
Computing can do for you and your user group!
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
Membership Application/Renewal *
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member. Associate memberships run concurrently with sponsors’
memberships.
Make check payable to:
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Mail application/renewal to:
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Attn.: Membership Director, P.O. Box 2866
Napa, CA 94558-0286.
The NVPCUG is an accredited IRC 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your dues
payment may be tax-deductible as a charitable contribution.
* To request a Corporate Membership Application / Renewal form, e-mail:
[email protected]
Revised 4-23-07
NVPCUG Computer News, August 2007, Page 14
Thank You !
The Napa Valley Personal Computer
Users Group is grateful for the support
provided by the following companies:
Dey, L.P.
Pharmaceutical products for the treatment of
respiratory diseases and respiratory-related allergies
2751 Napa Valley Corporate Drive, Napa 94558-6268
707-224-3200 • www.dey.com
947 Lincoln Avenue
Napa, CA 94559-5066
(707) 299-1000
www.napanet.net • [email protected]
Fr om Copies t o Full Co l or Printing
we ’re your
sou r ce for all your printed needs .
Also come see us for your Pr omo tional Items !
3148 Jefferson Street • Napa, California 94558
707/257-6260 • fax 707/257-8741
[email protected]
http://napa.minutemanpress.com
Offering Financial Services throughout
the Napa Valley, with offices in American
Canyon, Calistoga, Napa, St. Helena
and Yountville
800-869-3557 • www.wellsfargo.com
For more information about the NVPCUG, visit
our Web site: http://www.nvpcug.org
Exploring
Windows
Explorer
By Jim Sanders, Editor, The Orange Bytes,
North Orange County Computer Club,
California, www.noccc.org,
[email protected]
Obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for
publication by APCUG member groups.
Everyone using Windows XP uses Windows Explorer all
the time. Some use it in what I consider the true form.
Some, because you use it under the title of My Computer.
And all of us when we are using Internet Explorer, because
Windows Explorer is an integral part of Internet Explorer.
I continue to be surprised at how many people do not know
that you can right click on the start button and go directly
to Windows Explorer. I prefer that to the My Computer
path because it brings up Windows Explorer with the left
hand pane of the window displaying the tree structure of
the files. It surprises me that many people who use the My
Computer path don’t know that they can bring up the tree
pane by clicking on the folder button in the taskbar.
Something that is almost sad, is how many people live
with the default settings of Windows Explorer. One of the
first things that I do with a new installation of Windows
XP, is to open Windows Explorer, go to the view menu and
click on details. The next step is to open the tools menu,
and click on folder options. When the folder options
window opens, but what had a slump and wrong that a mile
and the click on the view tab. Then click on display the full
path in the title bar to place a checkmark in the box, click
on show hidden files and folders to put the bullet on that
line, click on a hide extensions for known file types to
remove the checkmark. Personally, I think Microsoft did
new users in particular, a major disservice by having the
last item set to by default. The resulting confusion of
having two or more files with the same name, and not
differentiated by the file extension, causes a fair amount of
distress in users that are not sure which file to choose. I like
to see the protected operating system files but you may be
more comfortable leaving them hidden. The last item is to
check is show control panel in my computer. Then click on
apply, wait for it to finish, then click on apply to all holders,
then click on OK and you’re done.
As a result of the above actions the right hand window
pane will now have four columns, name, size, height, and
date modified. The sort will be set to alphabetical by name,
numbers and special characters first, then A to Z. If you
Exploring Windows Explorer cont. on page 15
NVPCUG Computer News, August 2007, Page 15
Exploring Windows Explorer cont. from page 15
want the sort to be Z to A, click on name at the top of the
name column. If you want the sort to be by size, click on
size at the top of the size column and Windows Explorer
will sort the folder by file size, smallest file first. To
reverse the order, and place the largest file
at the top of the list, click on size again. The
same procedure works with the type column
and the date modified column. There is a
faint divider bar between each of the columns
located in the horizontal bar where the
names of the columns are located. One of
the easiest ones to find is one space to the
right of the column heading Size. If you
move the mouse cursor to that area you
should see a double headed arrow appear. If
you then click and hold the left mouse
button, you can adjust the width of the edge
of the columns. The width of the name
column is often too narrow to show the complete file
name. Having the complete path displayed in the address
bar, is often useful when you need to copy and paste that
path into other applications.
When you have a lot of files in a folder, there is a
navigation shortcut in the name column that too few
people seem to know about. When you first open a folder,
the display will show any other folders (or what should
really be called subdirectories) within that folder followed
by files, starting with the letter A. If you need to get to a
file that starts with a letter T, you might have to scroll
through several hundred files to get there. There is a faster
way. Click on the first file in the folder to highlight it, then
type the first letter of the file that you wish to find. In this
example the display would immediately jump to the first
file that starts with the letter T. If you know what you are
searching for, and can type quickly, you can follow the
first letter with the second letter of the name and it will take
you to that point instead.
I think initially setting all folders on a hard disk to the
detail view is the best starting point and is best suited for
the majority of folders. Windows XP allows you to
customize the view of each and every folder and will
remember what settings you assigned to a given folder.
For instance, for folders that contain photos it is often
more useful if the thumbnail view, or the film strip view,
is chosen so that you can see what each picture actually is.
The advantage of the thumbnail view is that you can find
images quicker than in the filmstrip view. The advantage
of the filmstrip view is that you get a line of thumbnails
across the bottom of the pane and a larger
view of which ever thumbnail is highlighted.
There are also mouse click arrow’s that allow
you to view the next or previous image.
Don’t forget that you can right click on any
of the thumbnails and bring up a whole new
menu of things that you can do with the
image.
Everybody should learn how to do file
housekeeping on their computer disk. Being
able to move files from one folder to another,
to copy files from one folder to another, to
create new folders, and several other
functions along those lines can help you
keep your data organized. It should be noted that most of
these functions can be accomplished in more than one
fashion. For instance, if you wished to copy a file from
folder A to folder B, you would first select the file by left
clicking on it which will cause it to be highlighted. You
could then open the edit menu by clicking on edit, then
click on copy, then click on the destination folder, then
click on paste in the edit menu, a copy of the file will
appear in that folder. Alternately, you could use some of
the keyboard shortcuts. You could highlight the file, press
and hold down the Ctrl key and then tap the C. key. This
will copy the file to the temporary holding bin called
clipboard. You would then highlight the destination folder,
press and hold down the control key, then tap the V. key
which will paste the file from the clipboard to the folder
you highlighted. Another method is called drag and drop.
In this method you move the mouse cursor over the file
you wish to copy, left click and hold the mouse button,
move the mouse to drag a ghost image of the file over the
top of the destination folder and then release the left mouse
button. There are many more features to cover but this is
all the room I have for now. We will do more later. „
This article has been provided to APCUG by the author solely
for publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses
require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).
Napa Valley Personal Computer Users Group
P.O. Box 2866
Napa, California 94558-0286
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